$246m on offer for nanny payments

Canberra [AAP]

Taxpayers will subsidise nannies for the first time in a limited trial costing $246 million.

Families earning less than $250,000 a year can apply to be part of a two-year program, which will be especially aimed at helping those in rural and regional areas.

However, nannies won’t be forced to get childcare qualifications to be eligible for subsidies.

Shift workers such as nurses, police officers and other emergency services personnel often had trouble finding child care that suited their circumstances, Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday.

The same was true for those in regional areas and people with special needs children.

‘Increasingly nannies are being used by families to make sure they can meet their workforce commitments,’ Mr Morrison said in a statement.

‘Parents doing shift work or working irregular hours need the reassurance that their children are safe and happy in their home while they work to support their family, as do those families in rural or remote locations or those with other accessibility issues.’

About 10,000 children will be covered by the trial.

The government is using the trial, to be funded in the coming budget, to see whether it’s viable to offer subsidies to everyone using in-home care.

Only nannies employed through government-approved services will attract the subsidy.

They must have a working with children check and first aid training.

But unlike workers in childcare centres, they won’t be required to have minimum early childhood care qualifications and the National Quality Framework won’t apply.

The government won’t pay more to families who do employ someone with specific qualifications.

The trial will run during 2016 and 2017.

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